REACH requires information to be passed both up and down the substance supply chains. Manufacturers and importers must communicate how the substances they are supplying should be used to ensure there are no risks to human health or the environment. The usual method for communication of this information will be in the form of a Safety Data Sheet (SDS). Although provision of an SDS is only a requirement of classified substances, suppliers of substances not meeting the criteria for classification are still required to provide their customers with information on how to use those substances safely.
There is also a requirement on downstream users of substances to pass information on their uses to their suppliers, up the supply chain, to ensure that their uses are included in their suppliers safety assessment. Users should provide their supplier with details on how they use their substances with information on the methods employed, the relevant exposures and the control measures that are in place to control those exposures. Users who do not provide their suppliers with this information will be required to prepare their own assessments of uses of those substances. Fulfilling this requirement could be very expensive and could take a considerable amount of time to complete. It is worth noting that uses of a substance which are not assessed in line with the REACH requirements will not be legal beyond the relevant deadline.
Further information is provided on the ECHA website.
REACH imposes several changes to safety data sheets (SDS), the biggest of which being the addition of an annex of exposure scenarios (ES) derived from the Chemical Safety Report (CSR), to give the so-called extended safety data sheet (eSDS). Only manufacturers and importers of classified substances, supplied in quantities of 10 or more tonnes per year, are required to prepare an eSDS for their substance covering all identified uses for that substance.
Each ES must include details on the operational conditions (OC) that are relevant to each identified use (including information on the process, location, duration and frequency of use, extent of exposure etc) and must also include details on the risk management measures (RMM) that must be implemented by the user to ensure that exposure is adequately.
Further information on Safety Data Sheets can be found on the ECHA website.